Australia and New Zealand's So Pop 2020 Festival Tour Is Canceled Due to COVID-19

The Pussycat Dolls
Ricky Vigil M/GC Images

The Pussycat Dolls Carmit Bachar, Ashley Roberts, Nicole Scherzinger, Jessica Sutta and Kimberly Wyatt seen at BBC Studios performing for The One Show on Feb. 26, 2020 in London.

The So Pop 2020 festival tour has been scrapped, due to the strict policies put in place by the governments of Australia and New Zealand to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Presented by Frontier Touring, Arena Touring and The Hits, So Pop was booked for six arena shows across both territories. Featuring a lineup with Pussycat Dolls, Steps, Jesse McCartney, Smash Mouth, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and more, the international trek was scheduled to kick off April 24 at Brisbane Entertainment Centre, and wrap May 3 at Horncastle Arena in Christchurch.

A statement issued by Frontier Touring on Thursday (March 18) confirmed the worst. “It is with a heavy heart that Frontier Touring and Arena Touring announce that So Pop 2020 will no longer be taking place in Australia and New Zealand this April and May,” the statement reads.

Earlier this week, Australia's prime minister Scott Morrison announced tough new entry restrictions on foreign nationals entering the country’s borders, which include a 14-day self-isolation period for arriving travelers. Also, a ban was applied to indoor gatherings of 100 or more, with some exceptions, while an existing ban on outdoor gatherings of 500 or more remains in place.

As a result, promoters of the touring pop fest “deem it infeasible for the show to go on.”

The statement continues, “It is with extreme devastation this announcement is made with our team having worked tirelessly to produce a world-class event for fans across Australia and New Zealand.”

Australia’s live music industry is on a knife’s edge. Event cancellations and postponements across the market are having “unprecedented impacts” on the creative industries, says the Australian Music Industry Network and the Australian Festival Association, which has joined forces with industry partners to keep a running tally on the sector's acute problems.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak and the start of bushfire season, cancelled events have contributed to more than A$200 million in lost income and 400,000 people have been impacted by event cancellations, according to the I Lost My Gig project. So Pop is among the 220,000-plus gigs and events that have now been cancelled across Australia and New Zealand due to the ongoing health crisis.